Lemon thyme (Thymus x citriodorus) is an excellent perennial ground cover with a fragrance. Get facts and info on growing and caring for lemon thyme, a great thyme herb for a fragrant herb garden or perfumed garden .
Lemon Thyme Facts and Uses
Lemon thyme grows in Zones 4-9 and will reach 12" h and w. It has a rounded form and a fine texture and is often used in borders, as ground covers, and as container plants. Lemon thyme prefers full sun and moderately fertile, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.5-7.5. Plants are woody subshrubs with tiny, evergreen, lemon-scented leaves. Lemon thyme has lavender-pink flowers that appear in summer.
Uses of Lemon Thyme
The leaves of lemon thyme has culinary value as it is a thyme herb used in chicken dishes. It may be used fresh or dried in many foods. Lemon thyme can also act as a mosquito repellant because of its mild citrus scent. You will also find this thyme variety to be used as a medicinal herb in the form of an essential oil used in aromatherapy in the treatment of asthma and can be used in a tea form for respiratory problems. Lemon thyme (dried) can also be used in potpourri mixtures.
When used as a container plant, lemon thyme plants can use such companion plants as: pink coreopsis, ‘Moonbeam’ threadleaf coreopsis, ‘Purureum’ fennel, and lavender. They can be used to trail over the edge of containers to create an interesting dish garden.
Care of Lemon Thyme
Plant 6-12” apart in spring or fall. Apply a slow-release granular plant food in spring at the time of planting. Cease feeding 6-8 weeks prior to the first frost date.
Pruning: Shear back hard in early spring. You can also trim back lightly after flowering to promote a compact habit.
The scent of lemon thyme is strongest when plants are grown in moderately fertile soil. For culinary use trim one-third of the leaf branch at a time. Water deeply when the soil is dry.
Propagation: Plants will naturally layer in the landscape. Pin a branch to the ground so the nodes connect with soil. Cover with mulch, then heck periodically for root growth. When roots have formed, snip the branch fro the parent plant, leaving some green top growth to accompany the new root system. In early summer, take cuttings from the new growth. Cut pieces that contain at least two or three healthy leaves and three nodes. Dip exposed nodes into rooting hormone. Dip exposed nodes into rooting hormone, shake off excess, and insert into moist soil mix, keeping leaves well above the soil level.
Pests and Diseases: Lemon thyme is relatively pest free when all cultural requirements have been met.
Related Species of Lemon Thyme
‘Anderson’s Gold’ hugs the ground and has golden leaves.
‘Archer’s Gold’ has bright yellow leaves.
‘Argenteus’ has silver leaves.
‘Argenteus Variegatus’ bears green leaves rimmed in silver.
‘Aureus’ has green leaves splashed with gols which often reverts to solid green.
‘Doone Valley’ is prostrate with green leaves splashed with gold and stained red in winter.
‘Silver Queen’ bears silver-marbled leaves.